Location University of New South Wales, Faculty of Medicine
App. deadline Applications accepted year round/until filled
  • Self funding students only
Eligibility Open to international applicants

Modulating the Kynurenine Pathway for therapeutic intervention in Multiple Sclerosis

Neurological conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Motor Neurone Disease (MND) are progressive diseases of the Central Nervous System (CNS) with a multifactorial aetiology that is not fully understood. Robust evidence has suggested that the dysregulation of the Kynurenine pathway (KP) may play a significant role in the pathogenesis of such diseases.

In this PhD project the candidate will investigate how this pathway affects immune cells and stem cells in the central nervous system, as well as assess whether a new therapeutic modulation by inhibitors or antibody intervention can improve outcomes in in vitro and animal models of disease.

This project will train the PhD candidate in using techniques such as art confocal and multi-channel microscopy, stem cell tissue culture, flow cytometry, HPLC-MS and a variety of animal models of disease.

The PhD candidate will:

  • Be under the supervision from senior clinical neurologist Professor Bruce Brew.
  • Be co-supervised by post-doctoral fellows and be supported and trained by research assistants.
  • Have clear project aims to work with, many aspects of this project already have been ethics approved thus reducing delays in project initiation.
  • The opportunity to present at conferences nationally and internationally.
  • Have the opportunity to publish several publications from the aims of this project.
  • Work at the St Vincent's Hospital Research Precinct and have access to research infrastructure and facilities from the Garvan, Kinghorn Cancer Centre, AMR clinical research centre, Victor Chang and UNSW infrastructure.
  • Have conjoint affiliation via UNSW and access to UNSW infrastructure and UNSW electronic library access.
  • Opportunity to collaborate with leading international and local collaborators.

If you’re interested in neurology research this project may be for you. For more information please send an email through to Professor Bruce Brew (Bruce.Brew@svha.org.au) and Dr. Michael Lovelace (m.lovelace@amr.org.au).

Reference list:

CK Lim, A Bilgin, DB Lovejoy, V Tan, S Bustamante, BV Taylor et al. Kynurenine pathway metabolomics predicts and provides mechanistic insight into multiple sclerosis progression. Scientific Reports 7, 41473, 2017.

JM Lee, V Tan, D Lovejoy, N Braidy, DB Rowe, BJ Brew, GJ Guillemin et al. MACROBUTTON HTMLDirect Involvement of quinolinic acid in the neuropathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Neuropharmacology 112, 346-364, 2017. 

MD Lovelace, B Varney, G Sundaram, MJ Lennon, CK Lim, K Jacobs et al. MACROBUTTON HTMLDirect Recent evidence for an expanded role of the kynurenine pathway of tryptophan metabolism in neurological diseases. Neuropharmacology 112, 373-388, 2017.

N Braidy, H Rossez, CK Lim, BE Jugder, BJ Brew, GJ Guillemin et al. Characterization of the Kynurenine Pathway in CD8+ Human Primary Monocyte-Derived Dendritic Cells. Neurotoxicity research 30 (4), 620-632, 2016.

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Further Information / Application Enquiries

Prof Bruce Brew